Friday, 12 December 2014

Petit Four

About the book...

Cake is often a major part of life’s celebrations, both big and small. From birthdays to wedding days, cake, in all its delectable concoctions, marks joyous occasions with a sweetness that can’t be beat. But even better is the love that is shared when two people connect over a sweet confection. Maybe it’s a cute new guy wreaking havoc on a broken heart, or a beautiful woman testing the limits of love, or an old beau stirring up long lost desires. Whatever the circumstances, cake can always be relied upon to save the day when it comes to affairs of the heart. In this collection of short stories, cake is the delicious center around which each tale unfolds and romance blooms. 

When single mom and journalist, Olivia, sets out to find romance in Cindy Arora’s “Cake Therapy,” she gets a little help from her friends and more than a few slices of cake to coax her off the couch and into the arms of a truly great love. Lucie Simone’s “Aprez Vous” finds success-driven Tara in Paris reminiscing of her long lost love, Jean Marc, and her niece bound and determined to reunite them. In “The Heart-Shaped Secret of Raspberry Jam” by Sue Watson, cake enthusiast, Milly, meets her match in the kitchen, and other places, when new owners take over the tea rooms where she works and her talents and her heart are put to the test. And Scott, mayor of a small seaside community, flirts with political suicide in Joel Zlotnik’s “Her Charms” when he falls for new-in-town Nicole, an entrepreneur with a passion for cupcakes, and whose latest venture proves a little too sexy for the sleepy beach town. 

From San Francisco to Paris, from small towns to tea rooms, this anthology tempts readers with humor, style, romance, and the powerful aphrodisiac that is cake. Petit Four is four stories, frosted with love.  

About the authors...

Cindy Arora - I’m the mama of an adorable little boy who makes my heart melt every day. I was a newspaper reporter for 14 years which means I still carry notepads in my back pocket, stick pens behind my ears and have been known to call the police department in the middle of the night to report a “perp.” I’ve worked as a bartendar, cocktail waitress, shot girl, banquet server, ham carver, fromager, pastry assistant and coffee mistress.  I’m a native Angeleno and totally normal. My favorite kind of pie is cherry. I love anything wrapped in puff pastry. I think cupcakes are ridiculously cute and always will. I don’t date vegetarians. But I will go to music festivals with them. I have two beautiful and creative sisters. and I feel happiest living by the ocean. But don’t. Such is life. I love happy endings. The first book that made me realize I wanted to write about love and a girl’s journey was Fifteen by Beverly Clearly. I am not afraid of calling myself a feminist, a chick lit writer or a whiskey enthusiast.

Lucie Simone - Lucie Simone has a passion for travel, romance and all things chick lit. She also has a degree in Journalism and a Master of Fine Arts in Television Production. Her love of comedy (and living under the delusion that she might one day be an actress) resulted in a stint studying improvisation at the LA Connection Comedy Theater and Improv Olympic West in Hollywood, which, ironically enough, taught her to be a better writer. She lives in Los Angeles (and loves it), but considers New York City her imaginary second home and visits the Big Apple as often as her bank account will allow. For more information on Lucie, please visit her website at

Sue Watson - Sue Watson was a TV Producer with the BBC who combined motherhood and family life with a busy career. However, one day it dawned on Sue that Cosmo magazine may have been telling porkies about 'having it all,' and her life had become a slightly crazed juggling act. 

So after much soul searching (and comfort eating) Sue abandoned her TV career, bought a pink laptop and wrote a novel. 'Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes,' tells the story of Stella Weston, whose life is a constant struggle with a nasty boss at work, the weighing scales and being a mum, wife and daughter. 

Originally from Manchester, Sue now lives with her husband and teenage daughter in Worcestershire. When she's not toiling over her latest novel, Sue bakes (and eats) cake and enjoys very large tubs of Caramel Chew Chew ice cream all to herself while watching 'The Biggest Loser USA.' 

Follow Sue or Twitter @suewatsonwriter

Joel Zlotnik - Joel Zlotnik is a former Southern California journalist who was lucky enough to find a second career on the other side of the notepad, answering questions instead of asking them. He recently cancelled his cable so he would write more and quickly discovered online binge watching. You can find him living at the beach in South Orange County, where he listens to records, reads and watches the waves.
Follow Joel: or twitter @mindofjzlotnik

My thoughts...
I was given an ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blogtour organised by Kim Nash at Bookouture. I can always rely on Kim to recommend a good book, she knows what I like and hasn't steered me wrong so far.  Kim knows how much I love Sue Watson's books and that along with the 'cake' theme had me hooked.

I was very tempted to skip straight to Sue's book first but managed to contain myself and I'm glad I did, not only was the anticipation worth it but I've found three new author's to the future

I have to be honest and say I used to steer away from short stories but after an author questioned my reasons and gave me her balanced opinion I've read quite a few this year and have to say that sometimes a short story is just what you need when life is running at speed.

The books in Petit Four, just like the title suggests all involve cake in some format or another - what's not to love about that I ask? I read the four stories in this book over a couple of weeks on four different evenings - each was different yet had many similarities - and not just cake!!

Each one involves people, both strong and weak, who form opinions and judgements based upon first impressions and life expectations.  Decisions are made from the heart and without the heart. On the one hand maturity, knowledge and having lived life allows for reflection, giving a clearer vision of life both in the past and now. Then, in the next instance maturity brings stubbornness, characters set in their ways and not open to new ideas or change - feeling threatened by things new and change.

I loved each of the stories and am glad I didn't read them all at once, allowing them to sink in and stay as individual stories rather than them all merging into one.  I loved how they all highlight how communication, good friends and family and an open mind are what is needed to allow us to move forward in life and that change isn't always a bad thing. Sometimes it's good to look back but generally speaking life should be for living now and we should all be looking forward and living each and every day, not putting off till tomorrow.

I urge everyone to pick up this book, if the cover doesn't tempt you, hopefully you are intrigued enough to give it a go.  There's a good mix of laughter, love and a little bit of seriousness too.  There's characters you'll instantly love and one or two who may take a little while to grow on you.  But.... I'm now convinced more than ever - friendship, love and cake are the way forward and the answer to any of life's problems , oh and wine or a cocktail or two thrown in for good measure.


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